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May 28, 2020

Samsung partners with Winklevoss exchange to expand crypto push

Assessing Samsung Electronics Earnings, Outlook

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Gemini Trust Co., the cryptocurrency venture run by the Winklevoss brothers, is partnering with Samsung Electronics Co. to allow users to more easily trade and store digital assets on mobile phones.

Gemini is the first crypto exchange to let U.S. and Canadian users of Samsung’s blockchain wallet view balances in their wallet app. Customers wishing to trade will be directed to Gemini’s mobile app, but won’t have to go through another log-in to start buying and selling.

Historically, using and trading cryptocurrencies has required multiple steps, and that complexity has been a major impediment to widespread adoption.

“It’s a full integration between the two apps that’s very transparent and very easy to use,” said Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto, managing director of operations at Gemini. “It’s all integrated.” Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Gemini, which was founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss of Facebook Inc. fame, has had a stand-alone mobile app since late 2018. Samsung launched its blockchain wallet in 2019. The app is designed to make it easy for customers to use so-called dapps -- distributed applications -- such as games that run on blockchains, which are essentially ledgers for recording transactions. People can use digital coins to buy game sessions or game items such as digital cats.

Samsung’s phones held 18 per cent of the global smartphone market, on par with Apple Inc., in the fourth quarter, according to Counterpoint Research.

Gemini’s app will integrate with the blockchain wallet on phones such as Samsung Galaxy S20 Series and Galaxy Z Flip. The integration feature won’t work on Verizon Communications Inc.’s network, Gemini said.